Current Beauty and the Beast
star John Tartaglia and his furry friends, the Sprites, have reason to celebrate.
Tartaglia's Disney Channel children's show, "Johnny and the Sprites," has been renewed for a second season, Variety reports. Filming will begin in the fall at the Kaufman Astoria Studios.
Part of the Disney Channel's "Playhouse Disney" program block, "Johnny and the Sprites" often ranks in the top ten of cable shows aimed for children ages two to five.
Nancy Kanter, Disney Channel's senior vice-president for original programming, told the industry paper, "When we developed 'Johnny and the Sprites,' our goal was to create entertaining and educational content while introducing our viewers to the world of Broadway style music." In fact, the show often features songs penned by such theatre writers as Stephen Schwartz, Gary Adler and Mark Hollmann.
Kanter added, "Since our premiere we have experienced extremely gratifying ratings and feedback telling us that our stories and music are resonating with kids and their parents."
"Johnny and the Sprites" — which teaches children "about magic in the world around them" — airs on the Disney Channel at 10 AM ET Saturdays; check local listings. John Tartaglia made his Broadway debut in Avenue Q
. He received a Tony nomination, a Theatre World Award and the Clarence Derwent Award for that performance. The singer-actor also appeared in the Children of Eden
benefit concerts and in the City Center Encores! presentation of Carnival
. His TV credits include eight seasons on "Sesame Street" as well as "Animal Jam," "Bear in the Big Blue House," "***** Eye for the Straight Guy" and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." Tartaglia was also seen in the Empty-Handed
concerts at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and has performed solo evenings at the Ars Nova and Joe's Pub. He currently plays Lumiere in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast
For more information visit www.disney.go.com/disneychannel